Trips to European Christmas markets are a popular choice for short breaks. Various companies offer offers and you can travel by coach, ferry, train or plane. One way to save on the cost of your trip is to book river cruises at Christmas markets. Most Christmas markets do not take place on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, so cruises are scheduled from late November to Christmas. You should also check the prices of accommodation in luxury hotels for the corporate market. These can often be very cheap during the Christmas and New Year period and thus make a good budget extension to a cruise. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Germany has many Christmas markets that date back to the Middle Ages. The Dresden Christmas market first took place in 1434, but it is not the first market. Today, it visits more than 1.5 million visitors and has more than 60 booths. In most markets, traders sell handmade items, books, toys, Christmas tree decorations and ornaments. Usually, mulled wine and Eierpunsch (an eggy hot liquor) are sold with food and there are traditional songs and dances.
Austria has a Christmas market in all major cities. Vienna alone hosts around 25 markets, from the smallest to the largest. Christmas markets have a long history in Austria, the December market in Vienna dates back to 1294. The Schönbrunn Christmas Market located outside the spectacular Schönbrunn Palace is among the most popular. There are more than 60 stalls selling wooden Christmas tree decorations, felt, glass, stone, handmade pottery, toys and hand carved bird feeders. In addition, there are many Austrian specialties to taste like wines, punches and teas from all over Austria. Graz is also home to many Christmas markets featuring regional farm products, Styrian arts and crafts, hot punch and mulled wine.
France has many Christmas markets and they are particularly popular with the British as they are easily accessible via the Eurostar. They offer great shopping opportunities and you can stock up on wine for the Christmas season. Items for sale vary depending on which part of France the market is held in. The Lille Christmas Market is a popular destination. The market is held in the center of the city and has stalls selling crafts and local cuisine. There is a theater and games for children and Santa Claus attests the market. At a spectacular event on December 20, he fell out. the Belfry of the Chamber of Commerce 80 meters high.
Christmas markets are also popular in Belgium, again largely thanks to the fast Eurostar service. The Brussels Winter Wonderland market has a wonderful atmosphere with its bright lights and tantalizing aromas of local delicacies. To add to the fun, there is an ice rink and the market stands in the ancient and beautiful Grand Place illuminated for the occasion. Ostend also has an ice rink and a fantastic array of shops, boutiques and stands. As the largest seaside resort in Belgium, it also offers plenty of evening entertainment, as well as restaurants and bars.
Holland has a number of established Christmas markets that can be easily reached by ferry. The Valkenburg Christmas Market is unusual in that it takes place in a cave. Soft, soft music and twinkling illuminations give a magical feeling in the darkness of the Fluweeleengrot (velvet grotto). While walking in its passes, you will discover caves, decorated niches and stalls presenting objects of Christmas or old crafts and Dutch handicrafts. In the center of the cave is the food garden that serves food and the famous Dutch Christmas drink Gluhwein (sparkling mulled wine). There is an entrance fee on this market of 4 euros for adults and 1.5 euros for children over 3 years old.
There are only a few Christmas markets in Poland, the main market being Krakow. It is held in the Rynek, a large market square in the heart of the old town. The wooden stands offer a variety of gifts ranging from woolen clothes to jewelery. Others sell local specialties. The square is dominated by the old cloth hall and in December you are almost guaranteed snow.